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It is a sad truth that most Americans have little or no idea of where the Black Sea region is, much less which countries are located there. Notwithstanding the failure of American schools to teach world geography, the Black Sea region is rarely visited by Westerners. It nevertheless remains one of the most politically important and strategically significant places on Earth. The Black Sea is literally the divide between the Christian and Muslim religions in Eurasia, and is bordered by some of the most volatile countries in the world today. In fact, American military forces have only rarely operated in the region, and then mostly within the borders of our NATO ally, Turkey. There was however an exception to this, just after World War I, when for a few years America operated a squadron of the U.S. Navy warships in the Black Sea. The story of their operations during that few years is a tale that is both compelling and informative, mixing elements of an Agatha Christie novel with the adventures of C. S. Forrester's Horatio Hornblower. And with the region presently at the top of the daily news, it makes sense to look at the American Black Sea experience in the 1920s.
To learn more about the American Black Sea Squadron and it's experiences, join military historian, author and journalist John D. Gresham (@greshamj01) for Military Monday at 1 p.m. Eastern.His guest this week is U.S. Naval Institute Press (@USNIPress) author and historian Robert Shenk, whose book America's Black Sea Fleet tells the story of this rather unique chapter in American naval history. They will also talk about the unique features, qualities, and cultures in the region during the 1920s, and also provide some insights into what operating in the Black Sea today may be like. Listeners are in encouraged to call in and offer questions to both gentlemen, in what will surely be a highly topical and relevant show.
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It's good to talk.